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Weekly wrap-up: Ellicott City, Maryland, flooding was the most destructive ever seen in the community; Earl floods Central America

Heavy thunderstorms hammered the mid-Atlantic on Saturday, July 30, turning roads into rivers as major flooding caused damage in numerous communities.

Some of the worst damage from the deluge was sustained in historic Ellicott City, Maryland, about 14 miles west of Baltimore, after 6.50 inches of rain fell in the area.

Two people died as a result of the flooding, the Associated Press reported.

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in Howard County, home to Ellicott City, on Sunday.

The raging floodwaters caused so much damage, Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman said it was a level of destruction never seen before in the community, which included Hurricane Agnes' impacts in 1972.

According to the county's Facebook page, there were 1,052 calls received in the 911 Center during between 7 p.m. Saturday, July 30, and 1 a.m. Sunday, July 31, approximately four times the normal call volume.

Flooding destroyed at least four structures and up to 30 sustained substantial damage. The majority of the damage was concentrated on Main Street.

Cleanup efforts included the repair of a broken sewer line, which had caused millions of gallons of sewage to spill into the nearby Patapsco River, the Baltimore Sun reported.

By Wednesday, some of the residents and business owners that were forced to leave their flooded properties behind were authorized to return so they could salvage items and assess the damage.

Earl became the second tropical system to reach hurricane strength in the Atlantic this year when it developed into a Category 1 storm early Wednesday evening. Earl reached a peak intensity of 80 mph (130 km/h) Wednesday night.

The storm made landfall around 2 a.m. EDT Thursday near Belize City as a hurricane but later weakened to a tropical storm. The system continued to bring heavy rain to Central America and caused a bridge to collapse in Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala.

Prior to reaching Belize, Earl already had left a deadly trail in its wake. At least nine people died in Haiti and the Dominican Republic on Monday after the storm swept through the Caribbean, according to the BBC.

Meanwhile, Typhoon Nida battered Hong Kong and southern China Tuesday with flooding rains and damaging winds, just days after it impacted the Philippines.

Nida began as a tropical depression over the northwestern Pacific Ocean on Friday evening, July 29, local time, before strengthening into a tropical storm on Saturday afternoon. Nida eventually reached typhoon strength on Sunday afternoon, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Eric Leister.

Rainfall totaled more than 175 mm (7.00 inches) across Hong Kong with a peak wind gust measured in excess of 145 km/h (90 mph).

The typhoon caused hundreds of flight delays, while numerous transportation services were shut down. Businesses and schools were closed, while Chinese state media reported that over 35,000 people evacuated the cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai ahead of Nida's landfall.

Torrential rains that triggered flooding caused a bridge to collapse in Maharashtra, a state in west-central India on Wednesday.

Two buses fell into the Savitri River after the Mumbai-Goa highway collapsed. Fourteen bodies had been found as of Friday, while the search continued for 28 others, according to CNN.

"High pressure from the flooding Savitri River caused the bridge to collapse," Devandra Fadnavis, chief minister of Maharashtra state, said in a statement.

Several AccuWeather meteorologists and staff writers contributed content to this article.


Have questions, comments, or a story to share? Email Kevin Byrne at Kevin.Byrne@accuweather.com, follow him on Twitter at @Accu_Kevin. Follow us @breakingweather, or on Facebook